Tell Top Ten U.S. Pork Producers to Drop Risky Drug Ractopamine
Ractopamine is a controversial animal feed additive that raises significant animal welfare and food safety concerns for U.S. and international consumers. Ractopamine, a drug that promotes rapid growth in pigs, cattle, and turkeys, is linked with serious animal health and behavioral problems, and is known to cause animals great suffering—including tremors, chronically elevated heart rates, broken limbs, higher risks of hoof lesions, and death in farm animals. Scientists associate the drug with both non-ambulatory ("downer") and over-excited behavior. The effects are no small matter: 60 to 80 percent of U.S. pigs are treated with ractopamine, and the FDA has received over 160,000 reports of pig suffering since the drug was approved in 1999. While human health studies are limited, those that exist also raise serious concerns.
Unlike the U.S., more than 160 countries—including Russia, China, Taiwan, and the 27 members of the European Union—ban or strictly limit the use of ractopamine. While the U.S. has so far refused to join the international community in banning this risky drug in animal feed, the U.S. already has a certified ractopamine-free program for pork exports to the E.U., and some corporate producers are already operating production plants that are 100% ractopamine-free to meet international demand. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect the same for U.S. market as well. In fact, some U.S. companies such as Chipotle restaurants, producer Niman Ranch, and Whole Foods Markets, already avoid meat produced with the feed additive.
Sign our petition to the Top Ten pork producers in the U.S. urging them to stop using ractopamine in pork production!